How To Work With Real Estate Internet Leads Without Going Crazy
So, have you finally figured out a way to generate real estate leads over the internet?
Congratulations, you are rich!
Except for one little thing, of course: close your leads and generate sales.
Without a solid system, all it will do is a lot of work and pain. In fact, I’d say it’s best to avoid all leads online unless you’re willing to invest the time upfront to set up the proper systems.
What exactly do I mean by system? A proper lead tracking system consists of three parts:
1. Customer Service / Internet Speed Tracking
Everything is faster on the Internet. Think about the last time you bought something online. Were you willing to wait even half an hour for a response from an online store, or did you just keep going until you found the answer right away?
Online customer service is a complete article on its own, but here are the basics:
- Make it easy for them to contact you: post your phone number in a prominent place and use an online form; simply posting your email address is worthless.
- Respond in 5 minutes; after 30 minutes, you may not even bother.
- ALWAYS provide something of value in every phone call / email / tweet / note on stone thrown through your window, etc. It can be market news, useful links, answers, etc.
2. Use a CRM system (even if it’s just an Excel sheet).
37 signs, a highly successful software company has a great saying: make half a product, not half a product. The same goes for leads – it’s better to work half your leads well, than to try to work all your leads and do half the work.
To get it right, you’ll need to keep track of your leads. No frills, make an Excel sheet with their information, how / why they found you and what you have sent them so far. Don’t forget the most important part: prioritize your leads (I can’t argue with the proven “A, B, C” system, but feel free to get creative if you need a little flair in your CRM).
My personal favorite for real estate CRM is Highrise, for the above 37 signals (just Google “highrise, they’re # 1.) It’s free up to 250 contacts, it’s very easy to use, and it works great with your email.
3. Give people what they want.
Ask yourself why they contacted you in the first place: what do they want? Find out that, then create or find those resources and put them in a folder called “resources” on your computer. For example: buyer’s guides, statistical market reports, recent neighborhood sales, advisory articles on choosing lenders, etc.
That way, every time you send an email to a potential customer, you can attach something useful or link to it in your email. It also gives you a great reason to call them, so you can ask for permission before sending them an attachment.
Honestly, there’s just no way to get the same success rates from online leads as from referrals and personal connections; that is simply the nature of the beast. However, if done right, you can generate a solid amount of business without letting online lead follow-up take over your life.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to research a condo building’s pet weight restriction for a random prospect who just called … hey, I never said it was easy!